Are you driven to win when it comes to SEO? According to Casie Gillette, that is one of many questions you will need to ask yourself (and answer Yes) to beat your competition. Casie, Paxton Gray, and Dennis Hart provided insightful information during their session at SMX East on a variety of strategies, tools, and goals needed to investigate how your competitors find success. I will summarize their presentations to help you beat your competition and dominate search results.
Dennis discussed different ways to see what your competition is doing. Specifically, he mentioned the need to lay out keywords you and your competitors are and aren’t ranking on to see overlap and opportunities. In addition, he provided insight into where to look to find out what your competitors are doing. Here is the list of areas to check to investigate how your competition is approaching SEO:
In addition, Dennis asserts that you can gain additional information by diving into these readily available metrics:
Dennis also provided insights into some other popular methods. Here some of his sentiments:
He also went on to say that “search is no longer just about 10 blue links.” To optimize for local search he made the following simple recommendations:
One final opportunity he mentioned was to reach out to the sites that are linking to your competitors and get them to link to you since the industry is clearly of interest to them.
Casie provided a list of tools that can be used to essentially spy on your competition to see what they are doing, what is working for them, and what their priorities are. According to her, source code provides a great opportunity for insights into what your competition is doing. Here are some of the specific areas she recommended to investigate:
Casie also recommended a series of tools that make it easier to do a competitive analysis. Here is a list of some of the most useful tools she recommends:
Paxton provided his general best practices for getting the most out of and prioritizing your keyword optimization efforts, along with his company’s specific strategies for ranking. While I won’t go into his company’s specific ranking system, in general Paxton recommends the following 5 step approach for keyword optimization:
Overall, each presenter provided a unique perspective on how to beat the competition. The main takeaways were to use tools to see what your competition is doing, learn from them, and ensure your efforts are focused on unique keyword opportunities that will provide the most bang for your buck.
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